The good wife attends a magical circus in Asia

I haven’t talked about books in a few posts, mostly because I kept falling asleep during my reading time, and for a week or so I got caught up in television, that old friend.  My brain just screeches to a halt when I watch TV; sometimes it’s necessary.  I am so tee’d up for irritability, I have to occasionally numb myself.  Mr. Halfstory says I  “wake up swinging,” which is true.  What makes it worse is when no one will fight with me.  Thankfully, I can always count on a teen to be hyper-sensitive.


The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern.  Fantastic.  Well-written, romantic, mystical, gloomy, weird in that Dickens kind of way.  Ok for teens.  My sweet, empathetic girl loves this stuff, the creepier and more gothic and haunting, the better. This is not haunting, but it’s very imaginative and, let’s face it, circuses are bizarre and mysterious, and not in a comfortable way.

The Three Stages of Amazement, by Carol Edgarian.  Spoiler alert! Sorry, I can’t recommend this one.  It was lovingly written – she has a creative and original voice – but it sunk quickly into the corny mire of trying to make a perfect wife amenable and/or someone a reader could relate to.  No one likes perfect wives.  They don’t exist and they make the rest of us feel bad.  Also, you can’t possibly have a secret father with, conveniently, a sick wife and money, without losing some credibility.  Plus, the title is irritating.  See above for irritability factor.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And other concerns, by Mindy Kaling.  Just when I thought no one could be as funny as Tina Fey, Mindy came along.  There is a lot of “list-writing” in this book but they’re hysterical.  Also ok for teens.  Kaling admits she is not suffering from self-esteem issues.  But the way she tracks her coming-of-age tales and her college journey, this not only makes sense, you want to subsidize her rent.

River Town, by Peter Hessler.  I read this about 4 years ago, so I’m cheating by putting this here.  I just have to give myself a belated high-five because David Sedaris recommended this the other night when we went to see him speak.  Aagh!  It was like he announced publicly I was his bff!  It’s a dirty little secret but I love thinking to myself “I read that” and then making all sorts of silent rash judgments on the book while the other person is talking.  Anyway…Peter Hessler lives on the Yangtze River for a few years and he writes about it.   It’s quietly awesome and moving and immensely well-written.  And I used the word awesome because Sedaris hates it very, very, very much.  But we are bffs so he won’t care.


~ by alicetownsend on November 21, 2011.

2 Responses to “The good wife attends a magical circus in Asia”

  1. The only one that I have read in your list is The Three Stages of Amazement and I didn’t care for it either. I did just finish The Language of Flowers and truly loved the book even though the ending was a little “too perfect” for my cynical self. I better check out River Town in case I run into your bff. Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. LOVED River Town – wonder what Hessler is doing these days…

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